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The Best Funko Pops for Fans of Classic Movies and TV Shows

Since their inception in 2011, Funko Pop vinyl figures have taken the collectibles world by storm. With their distinct big-headed, cartoon-style designs, Pops allow fans to own stylized versions of their favorite characters from movies, TV, video games, sports, music, and more. While the vast majority of the over 8000 unique Funko Pop figures represent modern pop culture icons, some of the most prized and valuable Pops for serious collectors depict "vintage" characters from classic films and shows.

What Makes a Funko Pop "Vintage"?

Vintage Funko Pops

So what exactly qualifies a Funko Pop as vintage or classic? While there is no precise definition, most collectors consider Pops representing characters who first appeared in movies and TV prior to 1990 as vintage. These encompass some of the most groundbreaking and memorable entertainment franchises of all time – beloved stories and personalities that have stood the test of time and are still widely celebrated today.

Compared to modern Pops, vintage ones often have a distinct retro style in their character sculpt and packaging design to match the era they are from. They also tend to be much harder to find and command significantly higher prices on the secondary market due to their age and rarity.

According to Pop Price Guide, the leading Funko Pop value tracking website, the average price of a Pop released in 2011-2013 is $52 compared to just $10 for a figure released in 2020. The most valuable Pops ever sold are all vintage designs, led by the Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory set ($13,700) and the original Batman Freddy Funko Pop ($10,000).

Most Popular Vintage Funko Pops

Some of the most iconic and sought-after vintage Funko Pop figures include:

The Grady Twins from The Shining (1980)

Widely considered the most valuable horror movie Funko Pop, the Grady Twins from Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining sell for $1200-1500 mint in box on average. With just 480 sets ever made back in 2013, it‘s one of the earliest and rarest Funko Pops of a classic film.

Frodo Baggins from The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

As one of the anchors of Funko‘s inaugural Pop! Movies line in 2012, this Frodo figure regularly fetches $200-250 – and that‘s for an unboxed loose figure! Mint in box versions are exponentially rarer and pricier. While LOTR is a more modern franchise than most "vintage" Pops cover, Frodo was one of the original 40 molds ever made.

Slimer from Ghostbusters (1984)

The lovable glutton ghost Slimer was released as one of Funko‘s 2014 San Diego Comic Con exclusives and today fetches around $155 on average, with certain glow-in-the-dark releases going for up to $360. Who ya gonna call? Your bank to take out a small loan.

Jareth from Labyrinth (1986)

One of the late great David Bowie‘s most iconic film roles has also become one of Funko‘s most legendary Pops. First released in 2016, the Goblin King Jareth Pop is instantly recognizable with his wild blond wig, vibrant blue jacket, and crystal ball. It currently resells for $250-300.

Trends and Strategies in Vintage Funko Pop Collecting

As with any collectible market, the vintage Funko Pop secondary market ebbs and flows with trends and is impacted by larger pop culture events. When a beloved classic franchise gets revived for a new generation, as Ghostbusters, Labyrinth, and The Dark Crystal have in recent years, interest and prices for the original vintage Pops tend to increase.

Speculating early on rumored or leaked new releases that pay homage to classic characters, as well as acquiring Pops for beloved vintage franchises that don‘t have them yet, are common investment strategies. Funko is also known to re-release vintage molds for major anniversaries but with slight design tweaks – having both the original and updated version is a must for serious collectors.

To stay on top of the fast-moving vintage Pop market, fans rely on the power of technology and crowdsourcing. Between value tracking websites and apps like Pop Price Guide and Whatnot, popular buy/sell platforms like eBay and Reddit, and countless Facebook groups, Instagram accounts, YouTube channels, and Twitter feeds dedicated to vintage Pop collecting, the wisdom of the collecting crowd helps validate trends and guide valuations.

Preserving and Displaying Vintage Funko Pops

Given the premium prices and delicate nature of many vintage Pops, especially mint in box versions, collectors go to great lengths to preserve and display them. In a 2020 community survey conducted by the Funko fansite TopPops, only 9% of collectors said they always unbox their Pops. 27% said they never take Pops out of the box, in order to preserve the condition and value.

For the most prized grail pieces, hardcore collectors use protective cases, often custom-molded to the exact figure, and display them in glass cabinets, on wall-mounted shelves, or on rotating turntables to show them off from all angles. Most use LED lights to prevent UV ray damage.

Digital tools and apps have also emerged to help catalog and display virtual Pop collections. The Funko app allows you to track your physical collection‘s estimated value, follow market trends, and even display your favorite figures in AR. Third-party alternatives like Pop Tracker and Collkt offer even more robust virtual collection management features.

The Future of Vintage Funko Pop Collecting

As Funko continues to expand its Pop line into more niche and nostalgic corners of pop culture, the definition of what‘s considered a "vintage" or "classic" release will undoubtedly evolve.

For example, Funko‘s recent Funko Soda line puts a new spin on vintage character designs, depicting them as miniature vinyl soda figures sealed in collectible retro cans. Will collectors one day hunt for "vintage Funko Sodas" the same way they do Pops? Only time will tell.

What we do know is that for as long as there are passionate fans of classic movies and TV shows, there will be a demand for collectibles that capture the magic of those beloved characters and stories – and vintage Funko Pops are currently the gold standard. With enough dedication, research, and probably a decent chunk of cash, you too can own a small piece of pop culture history immortalized in vinyl. Happy hunting!

For the latest Funko news and trends, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter. You‘ll get exclusive tips from top collectors on spotting the next vintage grail, plus promo codes for our custom Pop protectors. What‘s your favorite vintage Funko Pop? Let us know on Twitter with #VintagePops!

Images courtesy of Pop Price Guide and the Funko app.